No restriction on PTI Chairman Imran contesting election: IHC

No restriction on PTI Chairman Imran contesting election: IHC

Islamabad (Staff Report/Agencies): Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Athar Minallah observed on Monday that PTI Chairman Imran Khan had not been barred from contesting elections following the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) verdict in the Toshakhana reference against him.

While hearing a petition filed by former premier challenging the ECP verdict to disqualify him, the CJ said that Imran’s disqualification by the ECP was only to the extent of the seat he was notified on.

During today’s hearing, the court asked about the Registrar’s Office objections to the petition.

PTI chief’s lawyer, Barrister Ali Zafar informed the court that one objection was on the biometric verification and the other that a certified copy of the ECP’s decision was not attached to the plea.

On the second point, Zafar told the court that the ECP is yet to issue its detailed verdict, adding that they had only received two pages of the order.

“What is the rush in the case,” asked IHC CJ at this point.

Zafar informed the court that the PTI chief had to contest elections on a seat in in the NA-45 (Kurram-I) on October 30, but was now facing problems due to the ECP's disqualification.

Justice Minallah said that the former premier “won’t face any problems” to contest the by-election.

On Friday, the ECP disqualified the PTI chief for five years in Toshakhana reference.

A four-member bench, headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja, announced the verdict reserved on September 19.

As per the verdict, Imran Khan has been disqualified under Article 63 (1) (P) of the Constitution of Pakistan and sections 137 and 173 of the Elections Act, 2017 after he made false statement and incorrect declaration before the Election Commission.

Accordingly, the PTI chief ceases to be member of the National Assembly and legal  proceedings will be initiated against him under section 190 (2) of Elections Act 2017.

The verdict stated that Imran submitted a false affidavit and found involved in corrupt practices, adding that criminal proceedings will be initiated against the former premier for false declaration.